National Conference vice-president and the former J&K Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Thursday said that he doesn't see Assembly elections taking place in the union territory in 2021 in view of the Delimitation Commission getting a one year extension.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a party function organized to pay tributes to senior NC leader, Wali Muhammad Yatoo at Damhaal Hanjpora in south Kashmir's Kulgam district on Thursday, Omar said that his priority was not elections but to strengthen the party at the grassroots level.
"I don't see Assembly elections taking place in 2021. The Delimitation Commission has been given one year's extension and who knows it may be given more extension," news agency KNO quoted Omar saying in reply to a question about the timing of assembly elections in J&K union territory after abrogation of Article 370 in 2019.
"Let me clarify that my priority is not elections, it may be for the others. My top priority is to strengthen NC at grassroots level, which I am doing," Omar said.
Over a query whether he is satisfied with the decentralization of powers through maiden District Development Councils (DDCs), Omar said, "As of now, I don't see any development taking place".
"There was 90 per cent voting during NC's tenure when Panchayat polls were held. DDC members shouldn't be used as photo-opportunity and as a diplomatic tool. These elections were held to strengthen the grassroots level. Government must distribute powers and responsibilities to DDC members so that democracy flourishes," he said.
With regard to the recent commitment of Indo-Pak DGDMOs towards following the ceasefire pact of 2003, Omar said that he and his party have always welcomed such steps.
"We hope this step will bring the two countries closer so that they talk freely in a peaceful atmosphere," he said.
About the ex-UP Waqf Board chairman, Waseem Rizvi's blasphemous move, Omar said that the Indian constitution doesn't allow any assault on any religion.
"Waseem Rizvi is not a foreigner but one amongst us. People indulging in hurting the religious sentiments of people of any faith, should be brought to book as per the law of the land," Omar said.